3 Sep 2008

Two political veterans in Vanuatu may have lost seats in yesterday's poll

3:38 pm on 3 September 2008

Unofficial results from Vanuatu's election suggest 2 of the country's longest serving politicians may have been ousted.

The country voted yesterday to elect 52 members in 17 constituencies.

Official results won't be available for some days.

Megan Whelan is in the capital, Port Vila.

"The unofficial results suggest that the current Minister of Finance, Willie Jimmy, and former Prime Minister, Barak Sope have lost their seats. This is Mr Jimmy's 8th election, and Mr Sope has been in parliament since 1987. While results are continuing to come in, independent candidate Ralph Regenvanu appears to have won the most votes in the Port Vila constituency, which elects 6 MPs overall. The leader of the Green confederation, Moana Carcasses, and the head of the Vanuatu Republican Party, Maxime Carlot Korman, have been returned in the capital, along with the sitting deputy Prime Minister, Edward Natapei. However, results haven't come through from the Pentecost constituency, the home of the current Prime Minister Ham Lini. An official count won't begin until all the ballot boxes have been returned to Port Vila from the outer islands."